RK believes it is time for the organizers of events like the capri motel and Sartirana shows to rethink their modus operandi in light of the past few year's results.
There should be little doubt there are a good number of established rug collectors and, as verified by the public's interest we see in the Weaving Art Museum website's statistics of visitation and use, an even larger number of interested parties in the general public.
The question: Why do these events not prove carry through of the above is perhaps far more easily answered than it might seem.
Sartirana is held in Italy in a rather out of the way location, though the venue is classy and upscale; while the capri motel show held in San Francisco, California, which surely houses one of the most active concentration of established collectors and potential interested parties, is about as down market and dumpy as can be.
RK is sure were the Sartirana show held in the outskirts of Milan/Rome/Venice or moved to southern Germany near to Munich, another hotbed of collectors, it would attract far more buyers and visitors.
Likewise, were the capri motel show moved to a far more appetizing venue, where walls and tables rather than beds and cramped floors, were used for display it too would be far better attended.
One major defense, mouthed by those who wish to keep the status quo, has stood as an obstacle -- the increased cost such moves would engender. However, this is a foolish argument, especially now when the past few years have shown ever-decreasing sales and visitation.
The paradigm you need to spend money to make money is obviously true, and while both shows(and prospective others) need to be run as cooperatives by the dealers themselves(no real management organization which needs to make a large profit) only the capri is now.
We are equally sure suitable venues not costing a fortune to hire could be found on the outskirts of places like Milan or San Francisco, and spending this cost difference would return far greater attendance and sales.
But there is one more element of success sorely missing from the rational and equations and that is tie in to museum exhibitions of carpets and textiles.
The fact there are very few exhibitions in institutional venues is a real detriment to attracting "new blood" to our field.
RK has lamented the sad and sorrowful saga of what happened in Los Angeles with the bogus "bellini" rug dennis dodds off-loaded on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
We also have mentioned the moribund state of the textile museum in Washington, DC and the refusal of those in charge to feature and exhibit any Anatolian or Turkmen rugs in the redo of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's "Islamic" department.
We can go on citing the abject cold shoulder major and even minor museum give to the carpet and textile field and, quite frankly, it is unfortunately deserved based on the antics, piss-poor scholarship and in-group benefits this field is well note to possess.
Major changes and overhaul are needed and until this happens, and happens seriously, forget about seeing any improvement in both sales and appreciation, or success in attracting larger number of buyers and those interested in becoming ones.